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June 29, 2018:

BEING THE SOLOIST IN THE HARMONICA NOTES

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, how can it be that June, which was busting out all over, can almost be over, at an end, done with? Who knows where the time goes? Not I, certainly.  I am sitting here like so much fish, listening to some classical music by Arthur Benjamin, a very good composer, who happened to write the Storm Cloud Cantata that Hitchcock used to such great effect in both versions of The Man Who Knew Too Much.  I’m currently listening to his marvelous harmonica concerto, with Larry Adler as soloist. I shall be the soloist of these notes, which I am calling harmonica notes.

Yesterday was some kind of day, but I don’t really remember what kind of day.  I only got seven hours of sleep, got up, and had a telephonic conversation with my pal Linda Hart.  We went to LACC together.  She was on Broadway in Anything Goes with Patti LuPone, she was a Harlette with Bette Midler, she was the original Velma Von Tussle in Hairspray and she was also in Catch Me If You Can.  She’s joining our merry troupe for the Sherman event, so I’m thrilled about that.

After that, I went back to the commentary and got a little further.  Then Grant Geissman and I had some lunch at nearby El Torito – I’ve never liked it very much but I have to say it was pretty good.  After that I picked up mail and a couple of packages, did some banking, made a quick stop at Ralph’s and came home.

I spent the rest of the afternoon listening to more music – more CDs by the pianist Eugen Cicero doing his classical/jazz stuff.  One album wasn’t too good, but the other two were very nice.  At some point, I finally sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I finished watching the new Warner Archive Blu and Ray of The Colossus of Rhodes, the first solo directorial effort of one Sergio Leone, although he never listed it among his accomplishments. It really has none of the Leone style and is, in essence, just a standard issue peplum that were so popular with the populace back then, this one starring Rory Calhoun.  It does go on – and on – and on – for 128 minutes, and that’s the shorter US version of the film.  I enjoy these kinds of films and so I watched it all the way through.  The transfer is very grainy and obviously not from a camera negative, but some kind of dupe negative that MGM was given of the short cut back when they released it.  I’m sure it looked just as grainy back in the day.  It’s also not terribly detailed, but the color is good and it’s certainly decent and I’m sure they did all they could with whatever element they had. That said, I also had the German Blu-ray of the complete version (around 145 minutes) so I compared the two.  The German has better detail and slightly better color, but has its own set of issues, with gate weave aplenty and some wonky-looking edits as well as damage.  But I’ve never watched it because it’s not English friendly – it only has Eyetalian and German dubs and no English subtitles.

I then watched the first forty minutes of the new Blu-ray of The Curse of the Cat People, the not really a sequel to The Cat People.  That transfer is excellent, with deep, rich contrast and great detail and clarity. I’ll finish it up after today’s rehearsal.

After that, I shaved so I wouldn’t have to today, and then I finished up the commentary, so that’s done and I’ll finesse it today at some point.

Today, I’ll eat, hopefully pick up some packages, and then we have our second Kritzerland rehearsal in the later afternoon. Then I’ll finesse, and then relax.

Tomorrow, she of the Evil Eye comes and I’ll go eat a light breakfast, and then we have our stumble-through, after which I’ll just relax.  Sunday I relax until sound check and then we do our show, after which a few of us will go eat something.  Thankfully this show is selling well and we should have a really nice house.  Then next week I finish casting the Sherman event, get everyone their music, and we’ll schedule rehearsals, which will all take place a week before the show.  Then I have to choose which Kritzerland show we’ll encore in August – that’s the only way I can get it done – I’ll pick one of our most popular shows from at least four years ago, maybe even six years.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, eat, hopefully pick up packages, have our second rehearsal, finesse, and relax.  Today’s topic of discussion: It’s Friday – what is currently in your CD player and your DVD/Blu and Ray player?  I’ll start – Blu-ray, Curse of the Cat People then who knows what.  CD, lots and lots of stuff.  I’m about to go in search of the vocal CDs.  Your turn.  Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy to have been the soloist in the harmonica notes.

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